Romans 12 Bible Study - Enjoying Everyday Life 26 Jan. 2018 - Joyce Meyer (sermon online). Allow God's Word to work in you, and discover how much more enjoyable and fulfilling your life can become! Join Joyce in Romans chapter 12.
full text "Romans 12 Bible Study" - Enjoying Everyday Life 26 Jan. 2018 - Joyce Meyer
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Joyce Meyer: well, thank you so much for being with us today. I really hope that you're ready to study the word of God because that's what we're gonna do. Today, I wanna talk about Romans chapter 12. You know, it continually amazes me how many different lessons we can find in just one chapter of the word of God, and that's why I've been sayin' a lot lately, I think it's so important that we learn to study and not just read. Although reading is great, do it any time you get an opportunity, we do kind of just gloss over things, I think, when we read them, and so who would think, really, that there's that many lessons in one chapter if you don't take the time to really slow down?
And I think it's kinda cool to just even take a little notepad, and when you're reading a chapter in the Bible, just jot down the different things that you feel like you learn. Just a couple of interesting facts about Romans. The whole book of Romans, the first 8 chapters are about who we are in Christ, and that seems to be the way that paul writes a lot, especially a lot of these epistles. He writes them, the first part of the book will be about knowing who we are in Christ, because that's so important. It's kinda like the foundation for everything else. And then the latter half of the book will be about then, in light of who we are, how then should we live our daily lives? And so, chapter 12 begins in with some of these instructions about how to live. This is just a point of interest. I like this.
The letter to the Romans was written by paul during one of his traveling journeys, and he actually was not the one who delivered the letter. He sent it by the hand of, of all things, a woman, which I think is interesting, especially in those days because women weren't really looked at nearly even as well as they are today. We've made a lot of progress. But she was a deaconess in the early church, and she hand carried the letter to centuria, they think it was, and then, from there it was read to all the churches. So, it was written to jewish and gentile believers alike. Romans chapter 12, verse 1: "i appeal to you therefore, brethren, and I beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship."
Okay, so, these are people who had been schooled in the sacrifices of the old covenant, which, when you go back and study some of that, it's like, it can be exhausting just reading everything that they were supposed to do just to kind of be okay in their relationship with God. And you have to remember that sin was never completely removed or washed away. It was only covered up by the sacrifices in the old covenant. So, a lot of the language of the new testament we don't probably grasp like they did because we didn't live under those things that they did. So, when he says, "now, I want you to sacrifice your bodies as a living sacrifice," they were used to dead sacrifices. No more dead sacrifices. No more animal sacrifices.
Now God wants you. He's already told 'em, "he lives in you, and now he wants to work through you." So, when he says that he wants us to present all of our members and faculties as a living sacrifice, look at it just like that, your eyes, your ears, your mouth. My goodness, what if we had a mouth dedicated to God's service? Wouldn't that be amazing? A mind? So, present everything that we are, and I think it's good to just do this daily. "God, I present everything that I am today to you. Use my eyes. Use my mouth. Use my mind. Use my hands. Use my feet. I'm here for you. Whatever you can do through me I want you to do it through me. And it is good to remind our self of these things because we can jump out of bed in the morning and just start goin' about our little life and doin' the things that we do, and totally forget that we represent God everywhere that we go. And he says, "and by the way, i'm not askin' too much.
This is a reasonable, rational, intelligent way that we now worship God." Number two, verse 2: "do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, and the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in his sight for you]." So, we're in the world, but paul is constantly encouraging us, "make sure you don't become like the world." Don't be conformed to the world. Don't let the world around you determine your behavior or how you should live, but make sure that this is an inside job, that you're letting God change you inside. Because if our heart is right, which, in this instance, our mind is part of our heart, if what's in us is right, what comes out of us is then also going to be right.
And I think we all recognize that it's pretty easy to get caught up in the things that are going on around us, and maybe become a little bit more like the world than what we should. I told a group that I was teachin' this past weekend, I said, "we have to be really careful in the church today that we don't come expecting to be entertained. You know, so much of our church services can become about that, and we have to be really careful that when we go, we go because we want God to renew our mind, and don't be bothered if something that the minister says maybe confronts your behavior a little bit, or you feel like maybe it corrects you a little bit. We're not going just to be entertained and to be made to feel good about ourselves. We're going to make sure that our lives stay on the right track.
But this thing with the mind, of course, I teach a lot on renewing the mind, and this scripture in particular is very interesting to me because he says, "God has a good will for your life, a perfect plan for your life, and the only way you're gonna ever see it or prove it out is if you learn how to think the way that God thinks." You see, no matter what is true for us legally, bought and purchased with the blood of Christ, if we don't agree with it in our thinking and our believing, it's just not ever gonna become a reality for us. And so, this is really one of the big things that I think, as believers, we have to make sure that we kinda ask God to help us stay on top of, is, "am I believing what the world believes?" You know, "am I believing what my friends believe? Or am I really believing the word of God?"
You know, believing brings us into the rest of God, and it also helps us end up with the plan of God for our life, amen? So, verse 3: "for by the grace of God given unto me," paul said, "I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought to." Now, you see, we're already in the third lesson, and we're only in verse 3. And I could take every one of these and probably do a whole 1-hour teaching on each one. That's why it's important to really slow down. Don't just-- let's get over thinking that the more we do, the better it is because sometimes, less is more, you know? We don't always need to go wider. A lot of times, we just need to go deeper, amen? So, he says, "don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to [don't have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance]," and I like the way paul approaches this. He says, "i warn you by the grace of God."
In other words, he's approaching this subject of correcting them with an attitude of humility by saying, "the only way that i'm qualified to give you this warning is because this is what God's called me to do and given me the grace to do." So he's not even sayin', "hey, you know, I warn you guys because, you know, I've got it all together." He's just sayin', "be careful that you don't get an attitude that you're better than other people. So, we might just ask, "well, how could I recognize if I think i'm better than other people?" Well, number one, we're quick to judge and quick to criticize. That is one of the first symptoms of having a haughty, prideful attitude, is thinking that we know everything, and that everything we do is right, and that everybody should do it like us. So, humility is also something that we need to pray about on a regular basis and we need to realize it's something that we're gonna get tested in regularly, amen?
Joyce Meyer: amen, Jesus came as a humble servant, and the Bible says that we're to put on the same attitude that he had. "for by the grace (of God) given unto me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought to [don't have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance], but rate your ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him." Then he goes on and he begins to do several verses now about how we're all different. And see, one of the reasons why we have to make sure that we maintain a humble attitude in our dealings with one another is because if there's even the hint of pride, we automatically get irritated with people if they're not strong where we're strong.
And we have a tendency to judge them if they can't do what we can do. And what we're doing when we do that is we're forgetting that we can only do that because God's given us the grace to do that. So anything that you're good at, anything that you're good at, you need to realize it's a gift of God's grace, and you're only good at it because God has enabled you to be good at it. Now, yes, we get better at things as we practice them and we learn and so on and so forth, but the thing that's interesting is a really good singer, somebody who was just gifted by God with a phenomenal voice, they would never even think to judge somebody else who couldn't sing. You wouldn't be, like, "now, why can't you sing like me?" You just know that you either have it or you don't have it. But yet, let's just say that somebody learns more slowly than you do, and you just have this great brain that God's given you, where you just learn things really fast, and learning is really easy for you, well, then, if we're not careful, if we have a haughty attitude, we can become real impatient with other people who don't get it quite as quickly as we do.
So, then that attitude comes across, "well, what is your problem? What is wrong with you?" And then we can start judging and criticizing, instead of realizing, "hey, this is a strength for me because God has enabled me to do this." Now, obviously, you know, there's times when people need to be corrected, and there's times when they need to come up higher, but we just really need to realize that all of us are different, and that we're all given different capabilities. For what reason? So we all need one another. Nobody's got it all, amen?
Joyce Meyer: there's nobody that can do it all, and nobody knows it all, and nobody's got it all. And we would like it if we did because then we wouldn't have to depend on anybody. It's like, hey, you know, when I first started doin' my conferences and meetings, I mean, I would have loved it if I could have played a musical instrument, had a great musical voice, you know, maybe played the guitar, and then run over and played the piano a little bit, and then run back and played the drums a little bit, and then do the solos. I would have loved that because I really, in my natural person, would be more independent. But God leaves us in a position where we have to depend on one another so no one of us thinks that we don't need other people.
So in verse 4: "for as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, and members) all of these parts don't have the same function or the same use." It's really good to just sit and take a minute and think. "okay, my eyes don't do what my hands do. My hands don't do what my feet do." So, let's just exaggerate this for a minute and let's just think about the jealousy that exists among people because you can do something I can't do so i'm jealous of you that I can't do this. So this is an example that I've used a few times, and it seems to get the point across. Okay, my hand gets to wear rings, but my eyes only get to look at 'em. My fingers can't even see my rings. They never get the joy of seeing the jewelry that's on 'em, but my eyes get to see it. And, you know, sometimes i'll just kinda like, "hmm, yeah, good, everything matches, we're good."
Okay, let's just say that my eye got jealous and said, "well, i'm tired of just lookin' at the rings, I want my own ring. I want to wear a ring." Now, what if God said, "okay, sweetie, i'll give you what you want"? So, now, the eye gets its own ring. Well, that's nice except now, you see, the eye is incapacitated from doing what it should be doing, which is giving direction to the body. And honestly and truly, I think sometimes, as believers in Christ all trying to function together as a group, I think that's kind the way we look sometimes. We look just that silly. "well, I want what you've got." And really, it wouldn't even do me any good if I had what you have because God hasn't equipped me and enabled me to have it. You know, so people can look at something and say, "well, I wish I had a ministry like that," or, you know, "i wish I was in charge of that department." Well, honestly and truly, you really don't.
Because if you had that and you didn't have the grace of God on you to deal with it, it would absolutely crush you and destroy you. So, we need to appreciate the gifts in other people and not be jealous of them. So, then, you know, for several verses, he talks about that. And just in an effort to get through a little bit more of this today, i'm gonna just then go on to, let's look at verse 11: "never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the spirit, serving the Lord." So, guess what? You know what? We are supposed to be enthusiastic about being believers, and i'll just say, since most of you work here, that you should be enthusiastic about your wonderful job that you have at Joyce Meyer ministries every day. Because you know what? You could be working somewhere where somebody's cussing at you all day long, and gossiping about you behind your back.
So, see, if we realize what we have and remain thankful for what we have, it really goes a long way toward keeping us happy. So, being enthusiastic, it's pretty easy to just begin to take our blessings for granted, isn't it? And even complain about the blessings that we have. We've begged God to give us a bigger home, and then when he does, we complain because we've gotta clean it now. And so, we just need to be enthusiastic. Verse 12: "rejoice in hope; be steadfast and patient in," uh-oh, "suffering," you should be glad I don't have much time to spend on that one today.
Joyce Meyer: "and be constant in prayer." I say this a lot, but i'll say it again today. Let's just learn to pray our way through the day. In other words, let's just don't make prayer this big religious exercise where we think we have to be in some certain place in a certain posture and sound real spiritual. Let's just make sure that we include God in everything that we do. "contribute to the needs of God's people [sharing in their necessities]; and pursue the practice of hospitality. Bless those who persecute you." Now I think we come to some of the hardest things in the word of God to do. How many of you agree with that, that probably being kind and blessing people who have hurt you is probably one of the most challenging things to do? Because every time you have to make a decision to do it, it is a decision.
Please understand, you're never gonna feel like doing it. It's always something that you have to make a decision to do. "bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them." Verse 16: "live in harmony with one another; don't be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself," man, I wish that wasn't in there, "readily adjust yourself to [people, and things]." I would much rather that everybody would adjust and adapt to me. Wouldn't you like that too? Why do I always have to be the one who makes the adjustment to be what you want me to be? Why can't you just adjust and do what I want you to do? But that's what it says here, "readily," be ready, be quick to, "adjust yourself," and to adapt yourself, "to [people, and things]." Now, some people, just in their natural temperament, are a little more adaptable than other people. One of my daughters, I can call and say, "what are you gonna to today?" And she'll say, "what do you need me to do? What do you want me to do?" She's ready at a moment's notice to do whatever it is that I need her to do. She's real adaptable. My husband is a lot like that. I'm a little more like, "I've got a plan. Don't mess with my plan." [laughing] "this is where we're goin'.
This is what we're doin'." And so, I have to be a little more adaptable on purpose. It doesn't come just super naturally to me. And see, the thing is, is just because something's not easy for us, that doesn't mean that we get a pass and don't have to do it. Those are the areas where we say, "God, I know how I am. This could be a real weakness for me, and I need your strength in this area." We're all gonna be tempted. Every one of us is gonna be tempted. The Bible says, "temptation must come," but we are to resist temptation, and we do that through praying on a regular basis that God will keep us strong in our weaknesses. How many of you kinda know what your weaknesses are? If you don't, you need to have a meeting with yourself.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, seriously, I think a lot of times, we spend way too much time locating what's wrong with everybody else, and we really need to know what our weaknesses are. Not unto condemnation, but just so you know yourself. "if possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." That's really a very favorite verse of mine because here's the truth. I'm not responsible for what anybody else does, but I am responsible for what I do. Come on, let's just take that in. I'm not responsible for what everybody else does. I'm responsible for what I do.
And you know what? This is gonna sound a little bit tough, but I think God is actually showin' me that when somebody mistreats me, my reaction to them is more important than what they did to me. Because each one of us is gonna stand before God and give an account of our lives. And so, I can't do anything about you. I can pray for you, but only God can change you. However, I need to do not just focus on what's wrong with everybody else out there, and I need to focus on my own situation. "beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God's] wrath; for it is written, '"vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.'"
In other words, if we're willing to stop trying to deal with our enemies, come on, then God will deal with our enemies. And he will pay us back for any unfair or unjust thing that's been done to us. And I know that there must be people watchin' the program today, and you've had some real, you know, just verbal attacks launched against you. You've maybe been treated unfairly on your job. There's something going on in your life where you just feel like that you really just are not being treated right at all, or somebody has aggressively really hurt you and not cared anything about you. But let me tell you something. God is your vindicator, and he's the one that will pay you back.
People cannot give you back what they took from you. For so many years, because my dad had abused me, I tried to collect from everybody else. See, a lot of times, if we can't collect from the person who hurt us, then we kind of displace that and we start trying to collect from everybody else. And so here, my dad had hurt me, and so I was trying to collect from dave. You know, and God had to teach me, "what happened to you is not dave's fault. Stop trying to take it out on him. Stop trying to get everybody else to pay you back, and trust me to pay you back."
See, when we've been hurt, there's always a feeling there, "somebody owes me." And so if you're not careful, you can get a real chip on your shoulder and think, "well, everybody owes me." But really, everybody doesn't. The only person that really owes you is the person who hurt you, but they cannot pay you back. But God will. I love the way that the Bible says that God is our vindicator, and he is a God of justice. That means that he always takes wrong things and he makes them right. Now, I realize that sometimes God takes a lot longer about it, amen?
Joyce Meyer: it's like, "yeah, well, God, if you're gonna make this right, when are you gonna do it?" Well, maybe when our attitude gets straightened out. Maybe when we really do forgive and release the person and let it go. One thing's for sure, when we do the part that God has asked us to do, God will never ever fail to do the part that he has promised us that he will do. And I've certainly seen that in my life. God has vindicated me, and he has paid me back many times over for the childhood that I missed. Then I love verse 21: "do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (and master) evil with good." To me, that is one of the biggest, what I would call, "spiritual secrets," in the word of God. Our temptation is, "you hurt me, i'm hurting you back." But God's word teaches us the exact opposite. "you hurt me, i'm gonna bless you." And "to bless" means "to speak well of." So, we'll just start there. If somebody hurt you, you don't have to give 'em your automobile, but you can start by not talking about them and telling everybody else what they did to you, amen?
Joyce Meyer: okay, so I hope you got a little something out of that today. We didn't get to all 10 or 12 lessons that are in Romans, but surely, there was something there that helped you. Today, we're offering you "the everyday life study Bible." What a great way to get started studying the word of God. And all the proceeds from this offer today are gonna go directly to help pay for television airtime. And, you know, that's somethin' that you may not think about, but you can turn the tv on and sit in your home and just get it free except for your cable bill or your satellite bill or whatever you pay, but it's not free to us. We have to pay for the airtime. And so, we can partner together. I can feed you the word of God, and you can help support the program on a regular basis. And one of the ways that you can do this today is by ordering this "everyday life study Bible," and that's gonna help us pay for our television bills and continue to reach out in new places. Thank you so much for being with us today. God bless you and have a great rest of the day.
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Ginger: how did you begin to see what God really had called you to do in all of this?
Dave: well, first, at first, I fought with it for a little while, and then I realized that, and God really impressed upon my heart that "if you want my joy, my peace, and my grace, then you have to do what I've called you to do." I told the guys in the engineering field that I would not always be here working in the engineering field. Eventually, I was gonna be in ministry. And I didn't know exactly what aspect of ministry I was gonna be in, but I told 'em that. And actually, when I left the engineering company, the guys said, "you know how long you've been sayin' it?" And I said, "no." He said, "seven years." I said, "whoa, that's good." I said, "that's God's perfect number."
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